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Guest broken doll

Abuse & "Gender issues"

16 posts in this topic

I wasn't quite sure where to put this. I wanna start by saying that I don't mean any offence to anyone, and if I offend you, I am honestly, sincerely sorry.

Ok. I have a rough past to put it nicely. I mentioned to 3 people that I have "gender issues", that I feel weird as a girl, that I wanna be genderless, like a stuffed teddy, no gender, just nice to have around. 2 of those people were therapists. Everyone of those people replied oh. it's probably because you were abused. Do you guys think that's true? Do you think maybe because my life was so crap I'm now broken and can't accept what I should be?

I dunno, don't mean to upset anyone, but those comments hurt, angered, offended me & made me feel really sad and invalidated. Suppose I needed to get them out in a place where people may understand/have some insight :dunno:-_-

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Actually I've asked myself this question because I was molested at 6 and was emotionally and physically abused before that and my answer for myself is No. For one thing I felt like a boy long before I was molested. If anything it made things worse and more complicated. In some ways I hate being the gender that has been responsible for so much of the pain in my life. But I know that not all men are like that just as I know to my core I am male.

I sometimes wished that I had no gender as well before I recognized what I truly was and why I felt that way. Though I always role-played men in games, always identified secretly as a man inside, I also refused to recognize what that meant and was anti-male at the same time yet knew that I didn't really fit as a woman so I wanted to be neither. It would have made life easier. I am not saying that is the case with you-we are all individuals and it may well be just where you fit on the gender spectrum-but that was the case with me.

I suppose there is a possibility that a life of abuse could cause you to opt out of the gender spectrum but I would recommending talking with a gender therapist before deciding that was the case. This is in fact one of the reasons we stress talking to gender therapists rather than regular therapists. Gender is a very complex situation and a regular therapist may not be aware of all of the possibilities or know how to tell a coping mechanism like opting out of gender emotionally from a gender identity that is natural for you because of the configuration of your brain.

In other words, there is no easy answer and seeing a gender therapist is your best get to get it sorted out.

Johnny

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I was abused at 4yrs old and was forced to defend my siblings at that age. I was also assaulted in college a number of times, including being drugged. When I brought up my gender issues with my then friend -> GF -> Wife -> Ex-wife (multiple times) she insisted it was due to the abuse. Several other friends suggested this as did a few therapists. It isn't I'm afraid I will become a victim again and that my security was tied to my identity (males aren't allowed to cry -----) but that my gender and sex identity were separate issues from my abuse. I remember feeling so much despair because my gender dysphoria was 'due to being a survivor'.

I did feel a loss of security, but even then I am much happier then at any other time in my life.

I believe if you felt a loss of security, or there was any other connection of your gender ID with you history then you would want to be a buff fighter girl wearing a chastity belt or something rather than altering your sex to match your gender.

April

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I too was abused and was misdirected by well-meaning, though under-educated, therapists who tried to tell me that my gender identity disorder was due to those traumas. Not only were these therapists misguided, but they actually encouraged 'warehousing' me on psych meds for THE REST OF MY LIFE!!! I lost at least a decade of my life to such stupidity...

Gender Therapy is the way to figure these things out. Regular therapists just don't have the info they need to help you, in my opinion...

Love, Svenna

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Once a therapist gets their license to practice and gets working, the majority of U.S. states require that they take a certain number of hours of "refresher" or "professional enrichment" classes during a year to keep the license. Considering that Keith Ablow of Skunk News (actually Fox News but you get my point) infamy has taught that type of class several years ago, the classes offered in many areas are based on what the majority of practitioners in the geographic area want, or are seeing most in their practices. Gender therapy and gender issues are a very small piece of that action. Since the classes cost the therapist money, and their practice is not a hobby, they will put their money on classes that reflect their general practice and seem most likely to return the cash the therapist has put out. They have little incentive to put out several thousand bucks on a client that may only take 5 hours of therapy at $150/ hr.

Otherwise, what they diagnosed was pretty darn logical considering what they knew. I am sorry it has to happen, but even therapists are cheapskated when it comes to their educaton and their private "hobby" time.

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I've experienced the same problem. "Your gender issues may be connected to your trauma". My response was that I have no idea what the reason for my "issues" are. Biological? Trauma? whatever. Actually it really doesn't matter. I am what I am and even though I would really, really, really, really like to undo some stuff from the past, I can't. If the trauma caused it, it doesn't matter, because I have to live with it. That's the reality. So stop using the abuse of my past to abuse me further.

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I'm starting to get into this territory with my therapist, too. I was in a sexually abusive relationship for four years. I'm just getting to discussing gender with my therapist, and I'm afraid she will blame my gender confusion on the abuse when, really, like some of the other posters before me have said, I have felt the way that I do about my gender since before the abuse happened.

I feel invalidated, too, when she asks me these questions that are just...meant to challenge my ideas and beliefs about who I am. While my story is not exactly the same as yours, I can really relate to how you're feeling about those types of responses when you're finally willing to open up to others about what is going on inside of you.

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There are a lot of misguided people in the world and just because someone has a piece of paper saying that they are a therapist doesn't mean they're any good at it. I've seen a few bad ones before I found the right ones. One sad point to make is that SOME therapists bring their own personal prejudices to the work. There's tons of people out there who have NO CLUE that people are BORN being gay or trans, etc. Those people don't want to think that's true as it upsets their world view. I'd had supposedly "good therapists" in the past try to tell me that being abused made me want to retreat any way possible, including changing gender.

Needless to say, all of that was rubbish. Some of my earliest memories are of KNOWING I was a girl and not understanding how "god" could have screwed it up. In my particular case, it was compounded by being born with a genetic "defect" that markedly increased the dysphoria. I'm genetically more female than male. My body only produced testosterone for about ten years and then stopped at about the age of 25. The only point being, that we're born with it, something like that is not accidental.

So, forget what the others have told you, they are wrong. Look for a good therapist until you find one. It might to help to ask in advance if the person recognizes and treats GID.

Good luck!

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I feel and act a lot like I was a victim of child abuse, but I don't have any memories of it myself. I do know that my little brother and I both have a memory gap from the same time period, so I have wondered. Then recently I was abused twice by my neighbor. Even my therapist here said she would help me report it but almost certainly do nothing about it here (the police), and that was because I am transgender in a small town in Utah.

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Abuse is abuse, you were not Transgendered when the abuse happened if it happened when you were a child. TG is irrelevant, and if you listen to the impossibility sayers, or course it is hopeless. If your local police will not act, there are groups that can help you deal with it in the civil court system, or possibly go through the state Attorney General's office. You will not know until you try, and you are worth the possibility of a good outcome for yourself. Don't try, and the answer is pretty solid in the line of failure. Do try, and there is a possibility of success. Angels have been known to speak. There are transgender advocacy groups in Utah, and they have WON cases. I know of one of the happy winners.

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I feel and act a lot like I was a victim of child abuse, but I don't have any memories of it myself. I do know that my little brother and I both have a memory gap from the same time period, so I have wondered. Then recently I was abused twice by my neighbor. Even my therapist here said she would help me report it but almost certainly do nothing about it here (the police), and that was because I am transgender in a small town in Utah.

Sybil,

Are you still living near this person? You are not safe there!

Please take care of yourself, get away from the perpetrator AND get some therapy for the abuse. Please?

Let us know how you are, too...

Love, Svenna

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Sybil, trust me when I say that members will remember for you, even if you can't hear them. Trust your instincts and please keep yourself safe. You are a wonderful woman and the world is better for having a happy and healthy version of you in it.

April

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After reading this it really made me think, and I actually meditated a long time on this, because I was sexually abused as a child, and physically and emotionally abused as a teen. Never once did I think 'Maybe people would like or respect me better if I was a boy' or 'life would be easier if I was a boy'. I suffered a lot of abuse, and all kinds, but I know that the only reason I am FTM in-transitioning is simply because that is who I am. I don't believe that my past abuse has effected that in any way, shape, or form. I have always simply felt like a man.

So NO, I don't think it is true at ALL. And NO, I don't believe 1) that your life was broken, and 2) that it is causing you to dislike what you 'should' be. I think who you believe you are is who you SHOULD be.

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I really don't think that being transgendered has anything to do with my upbringing or anyone else's. I don't ever remember feeling like a girl even though I looked like one more or less. I think transgendered people are born this way. Like a fluke of nature and nothing more. I don't mean that in a bad way. I was brought up in a very dysfunctional family. While I was physically and mentally abused, there was never any sexual abuse. I don't think a different upbringing would change how out of place I feel in my body. I just know that I felt really messed up as a kid and wanted to be in a different body. More like my brother than myself. I began to understand what the difference was when I was in my early 20s. I went to someone I thought was my friend. She told me I needed professional help. That was true because we really do need to sort this all out with someone knowledgeable, but there was something in the way she said it that made me run back into my little closet and lock the door. It took decades before I was able to open it again. I developed substance abuse problems to keep that door shut. And that was what probably saved my life.

Maybe you feel broken, but you aren't. You just need to come to an understanding of who you really are. And if you feel broken, remember that the cracks in your armor allow God to come in to heal you.

Peter

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I've been struggling with this quite a bit lately. I was sexually abused at age 5, but only recently admit to myself that it was abuse. In fact, I really never let myself think about or remember what happened at all. The thing is, it was an unusual situation. The following paragraph is a description, so trigger warning:

My best friend in kindergarten was a cis boy. Every now and then, he would insist that "because
a girl and [he is] a boy, we have to 'have sex'." What this meant was we had to touch each other's "privates" and then put our "privates" together, though there was no penetration. I told him I didn't want to but he insisted that we had to, that it was just something that girls and boys did to each other. This would happen somewhat frequently, but I never said anything because I believed him that it was what we were supposed to do.

Throughout my teenage years I also experienced other instances of non-consensual sex and date rape.

So I sometimes doubt myself. I grew up thinking that sexual assault was something that boys/men did to girls/women. I was your stereotypical "angry feminist"; I firmly believed that being born a female was just losing the lottery of birth and that all females felt that way. So when I began to openly question my gender, I started to wonder if it was because associated being a woman with being hurt sexually.

I guess I'm mostly posting this to get it off my chest. I've only told a few friends about this before, but I never went into the details. It's really difficult for me because I can't explicitly say that it has nothing to do with my being trans*; it was one of my first experiences where I realized that I was 'different' from my male friends downstairs. I can't talk about this in person because I am still afraid that it doesn't "count" as sexual abuse, because it was by another kid and there was no penetration. But I'm coming to realize to myself that I think it was sexual abuse. And having to confront and admit that for the first time while transitioning is difficult.

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If you did not want to be touched in that part of your body, and you were drawn into the contact against your true feelings, then you were molested. My personal feeling is that both you and this other child were victims in this case though. The boy was possibly a victim of an older person in his family. He would only have known "this is what has to happen" from an example he had been taught. You were however a victim of molestation, though not as obviously with the malicious intent of brutality and power that an adult would have inflicted. You need help and counseling and you need to face the personal violation you felt. Even if you were cis gendered, you could and most likely would have felt as you did about un-welcome and un-desired physical contact. You were hurt, and now you need to heal. Healing this hurt is a preface to your truly being able to explore your gender feelings. If you resolve the hurt of your rape(s) and the gender issue is still there, then you will have a clear and open path to your future. If the rape issue removes your questions about gender identity, then of course that is the answer. Just because you were violated does not mean you are not transgendered. Please go NOW and get some help for this serious issue. It was not your fault it happened, and anyone who tries to tell you it is, is a hell bound liar and bully to boot.

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